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Subject: Historical USAAF Ranks and B-29 Campaigns rss

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Christopher O
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Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
When I first opened this game, I had originally thought there would be more "meat" to the campaign aspect of the game, that is, more career development for individual aircrew, such as skills, ranks + promotions, medals etc.

While there is some degree of skill improvement (rookie vs. veteran modifiers on many charts), there really isn't any format for ranks and decorations, which seems an oversight.

The campaign log sheet does show individual ranks for positions, but they're completely standardized and there's no indication of whether anyone would ever be promoted (except for a small note that radar observers in later missions may start out as 2nd or 1st Lieutenants).

Examining the crew lists from these pages: can see that there is a huge variance in ranks for various positions from crew to crew.

Usually the lower numbered crews have more experienced members with ranks matching or exceeding the campaign log standards. However, some crews have much lower ranks.

For example, this crew:

Typical B-29 Crew Rank Ranges

Aircraft Commanders ("Pilot" in the B-29 game) range from 2nd Lt (rare) 1st Lt to Maj
Co-Pilots range from F/O (very rare) 2nd Lt to Capt
Navigators range from F/O (rare) to Capt
Bombardiers range from F/O (rare) 2nd Lt to 1st Lt
Radar Observers range from T/Sgt to 1st Lt
Flight Engineers range from T/Sgt to F/O
CFCs range from Sgt to T/Sgt
Gunners range from PFC (rare) to S/Sgt

An important rank to note is "F/O" or flight officer, the rough equivalent of today's Warrant Officers. An interesting article on the status and origins of F/Os is in this link.

For those unfamiliar with USAAF rank structure, as I was initially, ranks are as follows, in ascending order:

Enlisted/Non-Commissioned Officers

Private (Pvt)
Private First Class (Pfc)
Corporal (Cpl)
Sergeant (Sgt)
Staff Sergeant (S/Sgt)
Technical Sergeant (T/Sgt)
Master Sergeant (M/Sgt)

Warrant Officers (without Commission)

Flight Officer (F/O)

Commissioned Officers

Second Lieutenant (2nd Lt)
First Lieutenant (1st Lt)
Captain (Capt)
Major (Maj)
(ranks above Major are generally non-flying positions)

I've decided for my next campaign to start the aircrew with lower ranks than the "standard" and promote them as they pass various benchmarks.

Another interesting approach might be to develop a chart for starting ranks with a range for each position and to roll for each when assembling the crew initially, or when posting replacements.
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Magnus K
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Hello Lone Wolf,

I might have something that you are looking for. It is something that I use to let a dice roll determine the starting rank of new crew men. I have it word and can send it to you if you'd like. (Originally for my B-26 variant, but works with the B-29.)

Promoting crew men is more difficult. I have experimented with various methods but am not satisfied with any I've tried. First promotion can be after 5 missions, and sometimes 10, and then a promotion after each 10 or 15 missions.

Here are images of NCO and officer insignias:

and here are images of awards and medals: (I have been testing a method to let a dice roll act as HQ and decide if a crew man is awarded a medal or not. It works, but it requires some score keeping.)

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